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Anaerobic membrane bioreactor for biogas production from concentrated sewage produced during sewer mining

Ferrari, Federico, Balcazar, Jose Luís, Rodriguez-Roda, Ignasi, Pijuan, Maite
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.670 pp. 993-1000
Archaea, chemical oxygen demand, gas production (biological), membrane bioreactors, methane, methane production, mining, municipal wastewater, osmosis, seasonal variation, sewage, temperature
A laboratory scale anaerobic membrane bioreactor was operated for 11 months treating synthetic wastewater that mimicked the concentrate from a forward osmosis process treating municipal wastewater with 80% water recovery. The effect of temperature variation on reactor performance was assessed. The reactor operated during 4 months at 34 °C and then temperature was decreased to 23 °C, 17 °C and 15 °C mimicking the typical temperature seasonal variations of the sewage. Average COD removal efficiencies were 95, 87, 76 and 67% at 34, 23, 17 and 15 °C respectively, obtaining lower biogas production and lower COD removal at lower temperatures. Dissolved methane in the permeate averaged 8.2 mg CH4/L and did not significantly change with temperature. After 2 months operating at 15 °C, temperature was progressively increased, resulting in an immediate increase of methane production and COD removal efficiencies. Microbial analysis showed important changes in the archaeal community when temperature was changed from 34 to 23 °C.